Adorable Black Bear Family Rescued by Oakland Zoo

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The Oakland Zoo welcomes its newest furry family—a mother black bear and her three still-weaning cubs.

On Monday morning May 15th, hysteria broke out at the otherwise quiet Pine Mountain Club community in Kern County. Members of the affluent Southern California neighborhood awoke to news that a mother black bear and her three cubs had broken into a suburban home.


The shocked homeowner took to her pots and pans, banging them together with the hope of running the bear family out. But the mother bear was not having it and, in an act of maternal protection, charged the woman, severely injuring her left arm with one swoop of her formidably sized paw.

Under normal circumstances (and state law), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would've forcibly euthanized the so-called aggressive mama bear; her cubs, theoretically, would have been fostered and weaned by the staff at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation facility to later be released into wild.

But this is no run-of-the-mill case of bears causing a ruckus in the burbs.

(Courtesy of Oakland Zoo)

Anecdotal accounts from other members of the Pine Mountain Club community suggested that these four bears were also the vandalizing omnivores behind a litany of other recently reported incidents—scavenged dumpsters and broken-into parked cars in the name of consuming a few sweet treats. Because the 15-pound mahogany-colored cubs were presumed to already be a little too comfortable with human activity, they too risked euthanization. But the Oakland Zoo came to the rescue.

"We are so happy to be able to help these four bears," said Colleen Kinzley, director of animal care, conservation, and research at Oakland Zoo. "As too often is the case when wild animals come into conflict with humans, it's the animals that lose. Oakland Zoo's purpose is to help people understand the challenges and the responsibilities of living with wildlife. Our first responsibility will be to provide these bears a rich life in a complex natural habitat that will be part of our new California Trail exhibit opening in 2018. We will share their story and help people to understand the role we all have in preventing these types of situations."

// Oakland Zoo, oaklandzoo.org

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